Track & Field RMAC Championships, February 26 & 27

Most of the Track and Field athletes closed out the 2011 indoor season this past weekend as the men finished fifth and the women ninth at 2011 RMAC Championships in Kearney, NE.

As expected, the distance runners headlined the scoring, as senior Ben Zywicki earned first team All-RMAC placing second in the 3000m (8:33.28) run behind Adams State’s Craig Huffer. In the DMR, sophomore Ryan Hanley, redshirt sophomores Russell Drummond and Peter Jenkins, and Junior Mack McClain finished in second behind Adams State, earning second team All-RMAC.

Drummond also earned Second Team All-RMAC in the mile placing second(4:19.28) and McClain earned Third Team All-RMAC placing sixth in the same event (4:22.57). In the 5000m Zywicki added to his success, placing third in 14:49.47 and garnering Second Team All-RMAC honors while redshirt freshman Sean Gildea impressed, finishing sixth in 14:57.89. In the 800m, Hanley and teammate Ryan Crisp scored points for the Orediggers, finishing 7th and 8th respectively.

In the sprints, sophomore Ryan Marshall shook off some hamstring troubles that have plagued him throughout his career as he raced to the Orediggers top finish in the sprints, placing fifth overall in the 400m (51.11). Fellow sophomore Chris Graziano finsihed 12th in the 200m and 15th in the 60m.

In the field events, Cody Walega turned in the highest finish by Mines in the pole vault, placing sixth after clearing 13’ 11.75” and earning Third Team All-RMAC honors. Heptathlete Jim Hanafin finished 8th with 4118 points as well as recording the tenth fastest time in the 60m hurdles (8.74). In the weight throw, Cole Carveth earned Third Team ALL-RMAC placing sixth (50’ 4.75”) and Chris McFee finished 11th (47’ 8.5”).

On the women’s side of the action, All-American senior Kiera Benson finished in second behind Adams State’s Indira Spence in the 60m (7.63) and the 200m, earning First Team All-RMAC for both events. Benson, who currently holds the school record in the 60m and 200m also placed 8th in the long jump (17’ 7.5”) and 12th in the triple jump (35’ 4.5”).

True Freshman Ava Hildebrant snuck into the scoring in the women’s pole vault, finishing 8th with a jump of 10’ 7”. Teammate Erin Glover, in her first season vaulting, finished 10th in the conference with the same height. Glover didn’t stop there, breaking the school record in the 60m hurdles prelims (8.93) and coming in 3rd overall in finals with time of 8.98s.

In the distance events, Morgan Stumb (3000m, 10:35.66) and freshman Holly Walker (5000m, 18:56.66)  both finished 8th overall. Hannah Schuster recorded the highest Oredigger time in the women’s mile, coming in 11th in 5:26.05.

For most of the athletes, the indoor season ends here. However, for those that have qualified and rank among the nation’s best in their event, they will be selected to compete at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. March 12.

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